2020 has proved to be a very strange year with many unexpected and unpredictable events taking hold of the country and in fact most of the world. In terms of photography my year began with a shoot at the Point of Ayr Lighthouse in North Wales where I captured one of my most successful images to date. Unfortunately as the year progressed we found ourselves under several Covid-19 lockdowns and the ability to travel far and wide against the advice and rules set out by the British Government.
This is the second year I have collated my best images. The first being in 2019 where you can see my top 10 images on this blog post. I have continued to share images throughout the year to my Instagram and Facebook page albeit there are several gaps of inactivity where I often wonder what I am trying to achieve from the posts I make.
My photography highlights 2020
Everyone has their own ways to measure success be it in numbers or just how thing look compared to last year. Looking back at my best images from 2020 I feel my biggest improvement is with composition. By all means its not perfect and there is still room for growth but its getting there.
Heres a few highlights from 2020….
- 52 shoots recorded throughout the year which was actually up on last yeas 45.
- 62 Images made it into my2020 candidates collection at the end of the year up from 27 in 2019
- 104 Images posted to Instagram (not all from 2020) up from last years 51 and I ended the year with 367 Followers up from 171 at the end of 2019
- I started the year with 72 Facebook followers and ended the year with 146
- Blog posts were a huge disappointment and not really worth the mention but I do really need to focus on self promotion and blogging to help increase traffic to my site.
- 1st double spread article in a magazine and by far a very proud moment for me.
- Multiple images published in the local newspapers.
- Made my very first photobook
- Published my first A3 calendar. This has been a great success!
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My Best Images In 2020
Again I have found it very difficult to narrow down and choose 10 images from my 2020 candidates collection in Lightroom. Trying to rank the images in any order would be nigh on impossible therefore this year I am going to take the easy option and post them in a random order.
Point of Ayr Lighthouse
I shot the above image during my second outing of the year. The image made my final 10 as It is without doubt my most successful image of 2020. The image featured in Practical Photography Magazine, Made the cover image in my first photo book and also made an appearance in my very first calendar printed for 2021. This blog post details the story behind the shot along with a few other images from the same evening and following sunrise.
Sunrise at Worcestershire Beacon
Theres nothing quite like a sunrise on a very cold January morning. The fresh clean air mixed with the cold soon wakes you up and you soon warm up as you hike to the top of a hill. This image was made on the highest point on the Malvern Hills being the Worcestershire Beacon. The Beacon offers amazing 360 degree views and is a perfect place to witness the sun rise. I only managed to visit the Malvern Hills once in 2020 and wrote this blog post about a perfect winters morning with exceptional light.
Wyche cutting on the Malvern Hills
The view from the Worcestershire Beacon towards the Wyche Cutting is a popular composition and has been photographed by several photographers. Luckily for me not everyone has an image with deep frost on the Ridgeline being kissed by golden light.
Lockdown Dandelion Seed Heads
Lockdown arrived and I find myself restricted to my home and garden. The image is technically one of the most difficult images I have ever captured. I used my cheap 50mm lens, reverse mounted to the camera with an adaptor ring. Using the lens in this way lets me focus a lot closer than a standard lens usually allows. The depth of field is very narrow and a couple of millimetres of movement in any direction would render the image totally out of focus. If you are thinking of dipping your toes into close up and macro photography this is a great way to gain experience without the expense of a dedicated macro lens.
Poppy Field Sunset
I had plans to photograph a local field In Kingswinford that blooms with poppies every year. The field has previously been a huge hit with local photographers. Unfortunately the farmer had ploughed the field and there were no poppies to be seen in 2020. After some research I visited a different poppy field quite late one evening on a scouting trip. The main purpose of the visit to see which direction the sun would rise and set. It’s also good to see what appears in the background looking in each direction. I printed the image on the cover of my 2021 calendar. The image is also available as a print in my webshop.
Moel-Y-Parc is a hill in North Wales on the boarder between Flintshire and Denbighshire. It’s a lovely location and very popular with walkers. There is a rock pile near the peak that I wanted to photograph at sunset. On this occasion I didn’t leave enough time to reach the summit before the sun would have dropped below the horizon. A lovely golden light flooded the ferns as the sky continued to produce some lovely colours. The rest is history they say!
The image is available as a limited edition print (20″x16″) and looks absolutely stunning when printed on textured fine art paper. I have limited the edition to 25 signed copies each including a certificate of authenticity. You can buy the print in my webshop or Contact me for further details.
Sunset on Wychbury Hill
Wychbury Hill is situated on the border of West Midlands and Worcestershire. The hill offers good views across the Severn Valley and is the home of the famous Wychbury Obelisk. I settled on this composition quite early and waited for the sun to drop down into position before pressing the shutter button. The image will always be special as it is the first sunset I photographed with my Nikon Z6
Afon Nadroedd Cascades
The drive between Bala Lake and Lake Vyrnwy is pretty spectacular. The road is not the easiest to navigate and is quite narrow at times however the views make it all worthwhile. Afon Nadroedd runs parallel to the road for quite a while and there are several little cascades as the elevation of the natural landscape changes. This cascade is a short walk from a parking area. I quickly set up my composition and adjusted my polarising filter to take the glare off the water as I recorded the moment. I stayed just long enough to make a triptych of images before feeling the midges starting to bite. Maybe my next purchase should me a midge net?
Fog on the Sheepwalks
Photographing fog is another first for me! In the past I have been too much of a fine weather photographer. I have now realised the more interesting images are made in conditions where most people stay at home. I am talking about snow, fog, ice, frost, stormy weather the list goes on… Historically if I had woken up to fog I would have gone back to bed. Now it’s a case of where’s my camera bag and car keys.
My final image to make it into my top 10 images in 2020 is this fantastic sunset. I spotted this small copse of trees on top of a small hill near to one of the woodlands I frequent. With the sun heading towards the horizon and noticed a small gap in the trees where I could position the setting sun.. I have been caught out previously under similar circumstances. The sun sets fairly quickly and I knew I didn’t have time to setup a tripod or change lenses. Shooting hand held I adjusted my settings to silhouette the trees and highlight the emitting suns rays. If you like the image it is available to buy as a print.
Which Image Is Your Favorite?
I hope you like my collection of best images from 2020 as much as I do. Let me know your favourite image below in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!
Thank you to everyone for all your support comments and kindness in 2020. I have a feeling 2021 is going to be another challenging year for my photography. I am looking forward to sharing the journey with you.
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